Volunteers required for new drug trial for patients with DIABETES

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    Jan Sadler


    A four-week clinical trial of 120 UK patients hopes to find an effective and non-addictive drug to relieve diabetic neuropathy, a painful complication of the disease.

    A trial taking place in the UK, will be the first of its kind to investigate the potential of an innovative drug, PL37, which can prolong the body’s own natural painkillers. Dual Enkephalinase Inhibitors (DENKIs) like PL37 are an exciting and long-awaited, novel class of analgesics for chronic pain conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy.

    For many patients this condition is managed unsatisfactorily by current drugs according to a leading expert: “Patients with diabetic neuropathy experience a painful tingling in their nerves, hands and feet, even with well-managed diabetes. For many, current treatments are not effective in managing pain and new research into alternatives will be welcomed by patients and doctors alike,” comments Professor Solomon Tesfaye MD FRCP, vice chair of the Diabetes UK’s Science and Research Advisory Group.

    Earlier studies with patients have shown that DENKI PL37 effectively targets the actual site of pain and enhances the benefit of other pain medications – and, unlike opiates such as morphine, is non-addictive. It was very well tolerated even at high oral doses, although some subjects have reported mild side-effects such as loose stools and headaches.

    However it is DENKIs’ mechanism in the body that is attracting excitement within the science community. The body’s natural painkillers degrade quickly in the body, but DENKIs are able to prolong the life of these peptides; in essence, assisting the body’s own natural pain relieving processes.

    Pharmaleads, the company leading the clinical trial, is looking to recruit patients from across the UK to take part in a four week study.

    “With the help of volunteers we may uncover a more effective treatment to manage the pain that some people with diabetes face and help change the impact of the disease for future generations,” adds Professor Tesfaye.

    The study is open to patients with diagnosed diabetic neuropathy (type 1 or type 2 diabetes) who are currently prescribed a pain medication which is not effective enough. The trial will explore if DENKI PL37 is effective in reducing pain intensity. There are 11 hospitals across the UK taking part in the research at centres in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Bath, Bournemouth, Oldham, Chorley, Poole and St Helen’s.

    If you are a person with diabetes and feel your current pain treatment is unsatisfactory, please ask your physician whether you can be referred to one of the British investigative sites. If you would like to find out more about the ‘DENKI PL37 for diabetic neuropathy’ trial visit http://www.pharmaleads.com where more Information and the addresses of the investigative sites are to be found is available.

    For further information please contact:
    Lara Sutherland
    Beattie Communications
    0207 053 6019

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